Saturday, June 30, 2018

Collaborative Quilt Project -- Part II

My brain and Muse waged a great battle to complete my second half of the Collaborative Quilt Project.  Here's the piece that I received from another participant.  As a football fan, she was inspired by the prompt "half" to create a football halfback.

I do enjoy going to a few college football games each season.  There's great energy in the stadium and the games almost always coincide with a visit with one of our children.  But I consider most of the prime-time TV football season to be the perfect time to hang with my husband on the couch.  He watches and I do needlepoint. I occasionally stop to respond to a good play.  Football's just not really my thing.

And so, I struggled with how to incorporate myself into the piece I received.  I got interesting help from an Urban Dictionary definition of halfback: 

A person originally from the northeastern U.S. who retired  to Florida only to later move "half way back" to the southern Appalachain mountains." 

I thought, "Yeah, I can work with that."

I thought I'd keep things tongue-in-cheek, to make it seem as if the halfback was seeing a visual representation of the other halfback definition. I started to add a change of address note, lawn flamingos and mountains.  

Ugh.  No.  Definitely not.

At this point, there was only one thing I could possibly do to salvage the situation. I cut the whole thing up. I was a little nervous, but didn't think I could possibly make things worse.

I cut one and a half inch strips, sliced those into smaller sections and sewed them back together, adding a few fabrics from my stash.  I then reassembled them into a new pieced cloth.

Much better.  But I didn't think I could/should just cut this cloth into a 15" square and leave it at that.  My first half in the project was a wonky pieced composition.  Doing something like that again seemed like a cop-out.  I also didn't think it would be fair to Ann to make something that didn't reflect her inspiration.

How could I make this thing reference football again.....?

Viola!  Here we have a new 15" x 15" piece called, "Football and Flamingos".   I cut out football shapes from the pieced cloth and re-emphasized those shapes with black outlining to create an abstract composition.  Elements of both definitions of halfback exist in this piece:  Ann's in the repeated football shape, and both of us in the fabrics.  (If you look closely at the right side football, you can see a snippet of the original change of address note I'd made.)

There was a HUGE transition from the piece I received to this one.  I don't know if the original maker likes it.  I think she's in shock; there's been radio silence.  But I'm pleased.  I tried hard to be respectful of her inspiration, but also fit myself into the final piece as well.  I made every effort to do my best work and I think this looks pretty cool.  The piece will eventually be wrapped around a 10" canvas when presented with the other finished pieces.  Most of the white border will disappear behind the back, making the football shapes even more prominent.  

This was a mind-bending experience for me.  It was a creative puzzle and also an exercise in relinquishing control.  Remember, I had to give up my first half to someone else -- not the same person I got this piece from -- for completion.  I haven't made up my mind as to whether or not I'd participate in something like this again.  I think there was a wide range of skill sets in this group.  The  quality in what was made varied greatly, too.  I think this might be good project to do if you could handpick the participants in order to know the commitment they have to the project and their quality of work.  This case was an "are you interested" kind of project which meant a whole host of different things to the participants.

At any rate, I'm glad I was part of this round of the project.  I hope I get this piece back because I like it.  But who owns the final piece hasn't been officially decided yet.

1 comment:

Karen L R said...

Hmmm...Interesting project and I appreciated your musings about the process. Letting go of control is a challenging exercise, for sure.